If proven to be true, a long prison sentence is mandated
Willa Holton, who managed the Jamestown Community center for 12 years and serves as chairman of the Augusta Aviation Commission, has leveled some explosive accusations at Commissioner Sammie Sias. In a letter she sent to city leaders, she claims Sias stole from SPLOST funds the community center received.
Stealing public money, while holding office, is a serious crime. That is why many Augusta area attorneys are surprised the commissioner is speaking to the press. He admitted to having an affair with Holton, who also happens to live next door to Sias and his wife.
During Sias’ swearing in ceremony, he gave credit to his wife for assisting his political career. The Metro Spirit reported at the time, “Without the support of his wife to care for his family, Sias said he couldn’t have spent so much time “saving the world,” one neighborhood at a time.”
“If I were his attorney, I’d advise him to keep his (expletive) mouth shut,” one prominent local attorney stated.
While the accusations against Sias are scandelous to be sure, from watching pornography in his office, storing and consuming alcohol at the community center and being verbally abusive to children, etc., the accusation with real teeth is the theft of taxpayer money.
Sias, Holton claims, cooked the books at the center, taking SPLOST money for himself
He has scheduled a press conference for Friday afternoon to address the allegations.
Just ask Jason Beard, the nephew of former Augusta Commission members Betty and Lee Beard, to what extent the FBI will go to prosecute those in positions of public trust who steal.
The FBI investigated allegations he was collecting payments, in his role as Fire Marshal, from nightclubs in exchange for allowing them to operate over occupancy limits on nights when those clubs were holding special events.
Word is the investigation itself cost the FBI over $200,000.
In regards to the case, United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver stated, “He had no right to sell the public’s trust for his personal profit. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to fight public corruption to help ensure the public’s safety.”
Beard was sentenced to three and a half years of confinement in May of 2016.
The District 4 commissioner is accused of taking SPLOST money throughout both of his terms.
Commissioner Sias exclusively told FOX 54 in a statement, “I’m looking forward to addressing these false allegations and moving forward. i have no intentions of allowing this to derail my service to the community.”
Insiders speculate the commissioner’s arrogant disposition will not help him.
In July of last year Sias issued a press release both criticizing the developer of the proposed $93 million mixed-use project at the old train depot property on Reynolds Street and questioning a recent editorial in the Augusta Chronicle regarding the development.
“I hereby challenge Mr. Hamilton and the editorial staff to appear on August 11, 9:00 a.m., Jamestown Community Center, 3647 Karleen Rd, Hephzibah, GA 30815,” Sais said. “I host this event every second Saturday of the month where I am accountable face to face with the taxpayers of Augusta, GA. I don’t expect any of you will attend. I don’t believe you have the guts; prove me wrong.”
It appears Sias will be held accountable to law enforcement over his handling of taxpayer funds in the near future.